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Interestingly, This Post Has Pictures…

Today my mom and I cleaned my kitchen. From top to bottom. Front to back. Side to side.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take before pictures. But I got some afters!

The gleaming stove and back splash: –

The gleaming sink: –

And the defrosted (heh, remember that?) freezer!!!

Then we had sushi for lunch. It was a good day! 🙂

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I Just Want To Put Here

For the record that Sheppard’s Pie made with leftover lamb and veg is not as nice as made from raw and slow cooked. It was edible and had fresh mash but it just wasn’t the same.

In other news, we haven’t found a new place to live yet but our landlord is being incredible and not only letting us go month to month starting in August but is also slightly reducing our rent. He’s also agreed to reduce it further if we decide a new place is just not available and we agree to sign at least a 6 month lease.

In other, other news even if we don’t move we are having a massive clear out. Our hope is to lose at least one bookcase and to get rid of all of Adam’s baby stuff. *sniff*.

Which reminds me. Look who can drink out of a cup: –

Look at MEEE!!!!

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So, My Dad Asked Me On Skype Today…

‘You’ve cancelled our Skype twice now because of work on your flat.  Is it falling apart?’

The answer is no.  The reason there is suddenly so much work being done around here is that I finally got a contact at our landlord’s who, when I ring and say ‘The metal strip between Adam’s room and hall has lifted and is dangerous.’  Replies ‘I’ll have someone out tomorrow.’

As opposed to our previous contact who, when I said ‘the paint is chipping quite badly in the hall’ came ’round, took a mass of pictures and never did anything.  My new contact, when I pointed out it was still chipping, came ’round, took a look, and scheduled the shower replacement and the repainting within in weeks.  My first conversation about this? Was about a year ago.

But now the work is done.  The en suite shower is replaced.  The paint is fixed.  The broken shower door in the hall bath is gone and a rail up instead, with a shower curtain I chose myself.

And now to organize.

The goal, overall, is to make the closets usable, rather than large dumping grounds, and to make Adam’s room as safe for him as possible.  Adam’s room has always also been a dumping ground and is no way, shape or form safe for the toddler he is quickly becoming.  I want to make it so we can put a stair gate up and leave him in there to play without supervision.  We do have a playpen, but how cool would it be for him to have his *entire* room for that?!

So the large bookcases full of Mummy and Daddy’s books are being moved.  The bits and pieces he has outgrown are going to be sold.  The tall cupboards that hold his things will be fastened to the wall.  And so on.

Because my baby? Is starting to walk: –

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Apologies If Anyone Couldn’t Get Here Yesterday

My brother hosting company migrated servers yesterday so we were down for a bit.  All fixed now! 🙂

These past 3 weeks of flat repair have convinced me, once again, that I don’t ever really want to own my own house.  Its been constant is the workman going to show up, oh good he did, oh crap he needs to come back, oh look another lot of plumbers and they still can’t fix it.  And its not over because we are pretty sure we found the leak, in the hall bath by the radiator.  Where they *just* fixed the paint from a previous water issue.

The good news? We don’t have to pay for it.  The bad news?  I can’t get a moments peace in my own house!!!

I was very much looking forward to dropping Adam off at day care, coming home, making a fresh pot of coffee, doing some work, having a sleep, doing some more work, actually eating lunch, cleaning a bit of the house maybe, then going to get him to find he’s had a lovely day of playing and laughing and making friends.

Instead I drop him off and leave him crying for me, come home, let in the handyman, get a headache as they rip the tiles off the bathroom wall with a jack hammer, do some work, eat some lunch, get slightly nauseaous from the smell of fresh paint, go pick up Adam to find out that he’s cried off and on for 5 hours and won’t eat anything while there.

I actually had a decent nights sleep last night, for the first time in about a week, and Simon asked if I felt any better.  Nope.  I need about 2 weeks of decent sleep to maybe feel better.  I suggest I check myself into a hotel and leave he and Adam to it.  Simon said no. 🙁

I guess I’ll feel better when Adam is 16 and refuses to get up at all during school hols.

Or maybe not.

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Adam And Mummy’s Big Adventure

So, Thursday I had plans.  Plans to bathe the baby.  Plans to clean a bathroom.  Plans to watch some TV while cuddling.

At 1030, that all went pear shaped with a pounding on my door.  I was in the middle of changing a hugely pooey diaper, so I wrapped Adam in a diaper that wasn’t latched and went to answer it.  As I opened the door the smell of gas was overwhelming.  It was our maintenance guy.  We had a leak.

I finished diapering little man’s bottom, double checked the diaper bag, throwing a few more things in it, put on some clothes (I was still in my PJs, unwashed!!) and stuffed him into his Baby Bjorn.  No way was I going to risk the lift, even if it was working, so no pram for us!

Got down to the front of the building and waited for the gas company.  They arrived about 1100 and headed into the building.  Meanwhile people were casually coming out of the building, obviously having no idea anything was going on.  I don’t think they ever did evacuate the whole building.  Yes, I am writing a letter to the management company about this.

Anyway, maintenance guy comes out and says it will be hours.  The leak has been traced to the flat across the hall from mine (!) but they can’t get the owner on the phone.  I mention that I think he travels a lot.  And head into town.

At this point it is 1130.  Little man is, thank god, asleep against my chest in his Bjorn, but not at all adequately dressed for what turned out to be a very chilly day.  Luckily I had grabbed a blanket so I had that wrapped around him in the Bjorn.  Also luckily I keep a warmer set of clothes in the diaper bag.  As I was walking to City Centre I thought about where I could take him to put him in warmer clothes..AH HA Marks & Spencer has a family bathroom.  M&S it is.

Got to M&S and got him more properly dressed.  And then bought some knickers. 🙂

Then realized I was starving and needed a real lunch to make up for the fact that my day had gone to hell.  So I headed to Victoria Square.  Upon perusal of the options, I decided Pizza Express sounded good.  And it was.

Meanwhile I had not been able to reach Simon.  His mobile was going straight to voice mail. I knew he wasn’t teaching and didn’t think he had any meetings, so could not figure out what was going on.  I finally said DUH and called his office number.

Got him on the phone and told him a.) that his mobile must be off and b.) that we had been evacuated!  He was all WHAT? and said he’d call the landlord to see what was going on.  He asked me if I wanted him to come home, but I didn’t really see the point, so told him to stay at work, that I was going to eat this HUGE piece of chocolate fudge cake in front of me and then go shopping.  I mean, I was already at the mall. 🙂

As I was finishing up said chocolate cake, Simon rang again to say the landlord had no clue and he was coming back to see what was going on.  I told him to ring me when he got to Belfast and headed off to shop.

I have been looking for a new diaper bag, as ours was just too small.  I have been using it as a handbag as well and with all of my things plus the baby’s things, sometimes it just wouldn’t zip.  So my first stop was the Mecca of Handbags, aka the ground floor of House of Fraser.  I looked. I prodded.  I removed stuffing.  Nothing that would suit my needs.

My next stop was the Mecca of Sporty/Rugged Bags, aka Fossil.  And EUREKA! There, in the window, I saw it. Messenger style, so I could sling it from hip to shoulder. What looked like a tons of pockets…how much how much?!?!?  £108! Perfect! Started poking through it.  Pockets galore.  Large inner section..SOLD! A special thank you to Aunt Agnes and Aunt Sonny, whose generous monetary gifts went to paying for this bag to end all bags!!

I then headed out to the rest of the mall.  Wandered through Pumpkin Patch’s sale.  Nothing.  And then headed to Argos.  The other things Simon and I had been looking for were small lamps for indirect lighting in the baby’s room and a clock for his room.  EUREKA again.  These lamps were perfect.  One for Adam’s room and one for the front room.  Perfect for night feeds and changes!  And a clock? How could I resist this clock especially since people kept sending him sheep!

As I was waiting for my things to be brought to the counter in Argos, Simon rang to say he was at the flat, no sign of gas company, no sign of anything going on.  I told him to grab the pram and meet me at the bandstand at Corn Market, we’d run a few more errands and head home.

As I was leaving Argos, who do I run into? My hairdresser, who takes one look at my unwashed, standing on end hair and says ‘good thing you’re coming to see me on Saturday.’  I thwacked him with a package, showed off my son and headed off to meet Simon.

And then it started to rain.  Where’s my umbrella? In the pram.  Am I wearing a coat? I am not…

Eventually it stopped raining, Simon met me, we picked up a few things and headed home.  No sign of any gas incident in or around the building.  I fell into bed around 1500 and slept until 1800.

The moral of today’s story?

When your husband says to you ‘I have 10 minutes until I leave, do you want to hop in the shower’ say yes!

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We *Can* Has Nursery!!

So, after weeks of prep and hours of organization (only took that long because I have to sit down and rest every half hour 🙂 ) I bring you…

The Baby’s Room:


Close up of cot, with the softest fleecey blankey ever made by the Baby’s Aunty Jodi in NY:


The Rocking Chair, generously given to us by Simon’s Parents. And that’s Simon’s baby blanket across the back!


And the changing table!

changing table

Before anyone asks…the change pad is Velcroed to the top of the changing table. Its actually very secure!!

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So I Was Told Today

that just sitting here, being pregnant, I am using as much energy as if I was running on a treadmill. No wonder I’m so blooming tired!!

The good news around here is that our landlord has agreed to remove the single bed in what will be the baby’s room. The bad news is that he is coming Monday to sort it. This means we need to uncover the bed, move the bookcases blocking it in. And find some place to put the clean laundry once the bed is gone. You are probably thinking fold it and put it away! That’s just crazy talk!! 🙂

So that’s the first step in creating a nursery. Now we just need some furniture. Oh, and a baby…

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OMG There is A Ball Of Light In The Sky!!!

I think I heard someone say it was called the sun.  It looks familiar, but its been so long…

Lost one pound this week.  Which is a miracle.

Got some lovely stuff to make a stroganoff tomorrow night to welcome Cuz to the country.  So excited to see her.  Also bought some new bedside lamps for the guest room so that they’d actually match.

Tomorrow I receive our new wireless router and we go 21st Century around here!

So busy busy day tomorrow!

And I’m on holiday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Simon And I Have A New Baby

This is him.  Isn’t he pretty?  Works well, too.

I am going to be setting up a wireless network in the flat soon.  We will keep our old laptop alive (if I can fix it, its having emotional problems, hence the new baby) and I have a laptop for work, so we could theoretically have 3 computers on the network.  And Simon and I would be able to converse via IM and never speak to each other again…

Yes, it another holiday here in NI.  So Simon and I are going to go do some shopping.  And some tidying of the flat.  And then back to work tomorrow.

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So The DIY Project That I Mentioned Yesterday

was hanging blackout blinds in our bedroom.

You see, another thing we *love* about this flat is all of the light. We get the morning light, since we face east, and then we get the evening sun because the building across the street is all glass and the sun reflects off of it.

The bad thing about this is that the sun rises in the UK at this time of year at around 0500 and sets around 2145. So it really starts to get light in the morning at 0430 and its bright daylight in our bedroom by around 0515.

So for the past couple of weeks I’ve been waking up at 0430. Every.Fecking.Day. I’ve also not been sleeping solid anyway, so getting up at 0430 has been killing me. So I talked to my doctor, she gave me sleeping pills, not working. So yesterday Simon and I hung blackout blinds.

I did wake up at 0430, but managed to get back to sleep until about 0530. So that’s a bit of an improvement.

Simon has been getting up early as well. So we’ll see what time he gets up today and if the blinds help.

And once again I’d like to say…Flat.Walls.Of.Iron!!!!!!!